Every child’s voice matters?

Harriet Churchill

in Changing local governance, changing citizens

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9781847422170
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301677 | DOI:
Every child’s voice matters?

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Every child matters set out a programme of reform, aiming to improve five key outcomes for children and young people: their health, safety, enjoyment, and educational achievement, making a positive contribution to society and economic well being. This chapter reviews the drivers of change and the national policy framework for reform and participation. It examines the conceptualisation of children's participation and the implementation framework for reform, drawing on theoretical and empirical work in this area. Finally, the chapter examines local reform in one local authority, with the pseudonym of Gatsborough City Council, between 2004 and mid-2008. The Council serves a post-industrial northern city with relatively high levels of educational underachievement, social services caseloads, and youth-offending rates. In this case, there was evidence that children's involvement in local governance has not merely been tokenistic and has stretched beyond managerialist consultation. This was because children's participation was viewed as citizenship education and related to social inclusion and cohesion objectives in New Labour's communitarian approach.

Keywords: children; health; safety; education; reform; local governance; society; participation

Chapter.  6213 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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